You care because you keep seeing it referenced in the current IT jargon as the end-all be-all for how to run IT departments. It stands for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. ITIL is a compilation of the best practices of IT service management policy. What are best practices? They are the generally accepted best way to perform a task. Ok, that sounds good. Maybe we should run our IT using ITIL or choose an IT vendor that uses ITIL to run its business and, by extension, our IT. The challenge for small to mid-size businesses (SBM) and their providers is that if ITIL is followed strictly, it is quite complex, time consuming, and challenging to manage. So why do we care then? We care because the basics of ITIL are in fact quite simple and easy to implement on a broad scale and your IT provider should know about it.
The greatest benefit of ITIL for SMBs is to work with an IT services provider who can pull the basics out of the ITIL framework and apply them to how they do business with you. One can get the main concepts from some simple research on the topic. ITIL boils down to aligning your business to the needs of your clients. That is the first big step. The IT service providers need to fit into its customers box, not the other way around. It's a simple concept that is, more often than not, ignored in the IT industry. Then, create documented processes that assist in the alignment, implement them, review them periodically, and finally, use lessons learned to make future modifications to your processes. It's that simple. By applying this high level overview of ITIL to your own processes and as lens to review your service providers, one will quickly determine which managed service providers really know what they're doing, when compared to the ones who are winging it. Go ahead and Wiki ITIL then see if your IT provider knows anything about it. If they can't come up with business alignment you should probably consider another provider who does.